The news that Michael Keaton was poised to play Bruce Wayne for the first time in almost 30 years in The Flash came completely out of the blue, and instantly generated massive speculation about the future of the DCEU. As well as confirming that the multiverse was set to play a huge part in the franchise, fans were hoping that Keaton’s return would eventually lead to the long-awaited live-action Batman Beyond movie.
While a lot of people are already imagining how the 68 year-old could look when he suits up as Batman again, it should be pointed out that the actor hasn’t officially signed on as of yet, and the bombshell news came with the caveat that Keaton had only just entered early negotiations with Warner Bros., and the deal is far from being finalized.
And though it appears to be little more than a formality that the star of Tim Burton’s two Batman movies will sign on the dotted line in the very near future, a new rumor claims that in the unlikely event that the talks fall through, the studio will then turn their eye towards having Christian Bale step in as the DCEU’s veteran Dark Knight.
According to the rumor, Warner Bros. are intent on forging ahead with their plans to have the alternate reality version of Batman play a major role in their shared universe going forward, and they’ve got Bale in mind as a contingency plan should they fail to agree on terms with Keaton.
That being said, the star of the Dark Knight Trilogy is a whole lot less likely to reprise the role than Keaton is, with Bale seemingly making it clear on countless occasions that he’s fed up to still be even talking about Batman, never mind playing the character again. Bale has also made a conscious effort to stay as far away from blockbuster territory as possible in recent years, having starred in just two big budget movies outside of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy in the last two decades. And there’s probably no amount of money that would be able to tempt him back under any circumstances.